Misdirected effort

Every week or two, a letter to the editor questions the move of the Barnes Foundation to Center City. However, to my recollection, there has never been a time when its neighbors or Lower Merion in any way tried to assist the foundation to stay and make the priceless art collection readily available to others. Almost everyone who can get a ticket and wait for their future date to see it still gets lost trying to find the Barnes. No signs, no sidewalks. Within 100 feet of the entry you will finally see signs reading "Save the Barnes." But not one offering direction.

If as much thought and attention went to making the Barnes easy to find and accessible as is given to the letter writing and legal action, it would remain there forever.

Joe Cesa

Philadelphia

» READ MORE: joe@joecoffeebar.com

Price of safety

Re: "Americans need the truth," Dec. 21:

Many Americans have vast amounts of financial, health and educational records stored electronically, with access given to strangers, from bank tellers to insurance company clerks, of a far more personal and important nature than NSA eavesdroppers are ever likely to acquire from monitoring of telephone calls and e-mails. Electronic eavesdropping is the price we pay to prevent attacks by enemies who have already demonstrated that they have the means and the motivation to murder us. The real issue is what is done with this information. To date, there has been little to suggest, even from the harshest critics, that NSA-collected material has been abused for political or personal purposes.

John R. Cohn

Philadelphia

» READ MORE: john.r.cohn@gmail.com

Good neighbor

As your Dec. 9 article, "Green Club Charade," notes, Olin Chlor Alkali's plant in Charleston, Tenn., participates in the Environmental Protection Agency's Performance Track program.

We take very seriously our environmental responsibility and stewardship. We live in this community. The people who live near the plant are our friends, neighbors and relatives. We work hard to consistently achieve challenging environmental goals and drive performance through continuous enhancements. Because of that commitment, our plant consistently meets or does better than the government standards that have been established to protect human health and the environment. Despite the implication in your story, our plant and our employees have strong support from people throughout the community.

Elaine Patterson

Olin Chlor Alkali Products

Cleveland, Tenn.

Measuring shame

A letter writer ("Don't bash Bush. Give him a break," Wednesday) offers the opinion that the president has never done anything as egregious as having a girlfriend in the Oval Office. Apparently, he does not feel that gutting the Constitution, taking away our right to privacy and habeas corpus, the collapse of the financial system, going to war under false pretenses, and seeing our international reputation in tatters are that shameful. I did not know giving Bush a break had anything to do with patriotism.

Linda P. Erlich

Richboro

» READ MORE: ryansmemom@aol.com

Leaving a mark

President Bush is determined to leave his "mark," no matter how damaging it will be, by instituting last-minute regulations that apparently will be hard to reverse. These include allowing gun owners to carry concealed weapons in national parks, permitting farms to dump waste into nearby waterways, and clearing the way for uranium mining near the Grand Canyon. The swearing-in of our new president cannot come soon enough.

Paul Bunkin

Turnersville

Cost of care

Alissa Halperin's commentary Wednesday ("Pa.'s planned assisted living rules fall far short of what's needed") repeats the same mantra I've heard dozens of times. Each calls for the state to mandate higher levels of staffing, and most point to incidents where incapacitated patients had accidents and suffered. I've spent almost half the year in a nursing facility, and have seen the problems firsthand. But the other side of this question is the prohibitive manpower costs for an ideal situation. Institutional care providers are in a bind, trying to balance adequate care with everyone's, particularly government's, ability to pay.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby